The costume conundrum

“Simba” with mom

Every year around this time we start to work on solving the costume conundrum:

  • What can the kids wear for Halloween that will keep them happy while spending the minimum amount of money?

Nala & the Red Power Ranger

When my son was little he was a big fan of the Lion King. I found a Simba costume for him that was cheap. He was happy, I was happy.  Then I realized the costume was really Nala, the female lion friend lion of Simba.  Westin was only two, so he wore it and we told everyone he was Simba.  Three years later my daughter wore it, but she was Nala.  That year my son wore a hand me down costume from a friend, so my spend was $0.

My son has generally been the easier one to please.  Some years it was only a mask we had to invest in (which he wore multiple years).  Another year he decided to be Harry Potter (everyone always said he looked like him) and we managed to make do with stuff we had lying around the house.  Last year he borrowed some of my gold chains so he could be a gangsta and he was good.  A few years go he wanted to be Rob Zombie and all he needed was  a top hat.  We borrowed one from a friend who was heavily involved with a theater group.  I was glad not to have spent the money on something that likely wouldn’t have been used again.

My kids know i don’t like to spend a lot of money on something that will likely be worn once or twice.  I see it as a waste of money.  I have my limit of what I’ll pay for a costume and anything beyond that comes out of the kids pockets. It helps to set those limitations up front before expectations get too high. Once we know what we need I’ll see if i can get it free (borrow from friends or family), used (Ebay or Craigslist) or on sale.

Flying monkey

My daughter is usually the trouble maker.  She tries to coordinate her costume with whoever she is trick or treating with, not content to work as an independent.  Two years ago she went as a flying monkey and went trick and treating with her cousins who were dressed as Elphaba and Nessa Rose from Wicked.  All I bought was a sock monkey hat which she still wears on a regular basis so I don’tn have a problem with that purchase.  The wings came from a previous costume that we bought and she re-purposed into Wednesday Addams.

This past weekend Kendra asked me about buying a $40 costume (I don’t think so!) from Party City so she and her friends could dress as Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach for school.  She doesn’t even think she’ll be going out trick or treating. So begins this year’s challenge…

Wednesday Addams

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